Hotel Royal Classic Osaka: A Museum & Hotel Fusing Tradition and Innovation in an Art Museum-Style Space

30.November.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Shin Kabuki-za is an old theatre in Osaka that has been loved by locals since it opened in 1926. The theatre is set to find new life as Hotel Royal Classic Osaka, a new hotel developed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma which is set to open on December 1, 2019. The MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON editorial team received exclusive access to view the hotel before it opens to report on it and showcase how it differs completely from other hotels with its characteristic charms.

 

Its direct connect to Namba Station means super easy access

Hotel Royal Classic Osaka is situated in the central part of Osaka Minami. Direct access to the hotel from the Osaka Metro section of Namba Station will be made available from March 2020, allowing for easy access and the reassurance that you won’t get lost wandering the streets trying to find your accommodation. Its location means easy access for tourists and travellers with a lot of luggage, working professionals who want to shorten the distance between commutes as much as possible, and pretty much any other scenario where accessibility is a priority.

 

An iconic building exterior combining tradition and modern innovation

Shin Kabuki-za is known by the locals who live in the area for its magnificent karahafu roof gables. The hotel will inherit this symbolic part of the theatre’s design and restore the lower part of the building. The upper part makes use of multiple layers of aluminium to create a dynamic and intricate design, resulting in a unique appearance that fuses both the traditional formation of the original theatre with a modern touch. Thanks to Kengo Kuma’s skillful architectural work, the building merges effortlessly with the surrounding buildings while retaining the local culture.

 

It’s as much of an art museum as a hotel

Olympic Girl 100m by Ay-O (Takao Iijima)

The hotel also stands tall and proud as an art museum. As you walk down its corridors, your eyes will meet a plethora of gorgeous pieces of artwork which serve to lay guests into a sense of calmness and tranquility. These works are scattered throughout the hotel, both at the front desk, guest rooms, and elsewhere, making it feel like you have really stepped into a museum of art. High-class pieces also line the walls nonchalantly, so give yourself time to appreciate the many masterpieces you’ll find there.

  

High ceilings create spaceーspace which is nothing less than relaxing

There are 150 guest rooms in total, consisting of Standard Rooms, Premium Rooms, and Suite Rooms. Not only does each and every room boast a beautiful and panoramic window view of Osaka’s nightscape, they also enjoy high ceilings, creating a sense of space and freedom.

Wood is the base of all the rooms, giving them a natural and relaxed feeling. The furniture is simple which gives the rooms a minimalist design, again adding to the space and sense of luxury. We stayed in one of the Standard Rooms. Don’t let going for Standard make you feel inferior, however, as we felt the room was incredibly spacious with plenty of space to store luggage.

Room lighting is controlled with a tablet located next to the bed. The tablets are compatible in four languages. Each icon on them also has universally easy-to-recognise pictures for easy use.

Also, the bathtubs in Standard Rooms have a little window that looks into the main bedroom. If you’re with someone you’re on good terms with, whether friends, family or a loved one, you can communicate back and forth while you take a soak. (There is of course a sliding door so you can close it off too!)

We were also shown around one of the Suite Rooms which are fitted with a living room and spacious washroom. It really is penthouse-level extraordinary.

The bathrooms have a window that looks out across the city nightscape, allowing for an indulging soak with a breathtaking view. It’s not one we could afford every single time we book a hotel, on a special occasion one time it’s an absolute definite.

 

Amenities galore to pamper your hair and body

The rooms come with a long line-up of fantastic amenities, like comfy cotton PJs, fluffy slippers, and our personal favourite: a compressed bag for your clothing. 

The amenities in the washroom were bountiful too, from shampoo to conditioner, shower gel and body gelーall of which, by the way, are by the Thai organic brand Panpuri. They all smelled incredible and filled the bathroom with their gorgeous scent.

They have all your ordinary must-haves too like a hair comb, cotton buds, toothbrush, and so on.

 

KUMO KUMO: The bar and lounge with comfy sofas

The hotel building has a total of twenty floors. After enjoying our time in the hotel portion, we headed up to the bar and lounge KUMO KUMO on the 20th floor. Inside the elevator, piano music plays while you gaze at the several pieces of art fitted inside. There was even a piece by Yayoi Kusama, so be sure to take a look.

When entering KUMO KUMO, there’s not only seats at the counter, but lots of sofas too with a window view.

Jazz music flowed through the bar and lounge, which is best enjoyed with a cup of delicious sake while staring out over nighttime Osaka.

 

HAFU is a restaurant for guests only that serves breakfast.

Their menu consists of lots of healthy options, from fruits to salads.

The chef will also prepare fresh hotel-grade egg and meat dishes too, amongst other delicious delights. There’s also a range of slim-friendly menu items made with foreign guests in mind. The assortment was truly incredible, we can’t recommend this place enough.

Of course, there’s yogurt, mini sweets and other dessert-like morning treats to indulge in too. It was a breakfast for the gods.

 

YURAYURA: A restaurant that combines Japanese and Western cuisine

The team enjoyed lunch at YURAYURA too, a buffet-style restaurant that also seats non-guests. Their menu is an amalgamation of the Japanese and Western palate, serving carefully-selected ingredients from countries around the world.

They had various foods from around Asia too like nasi goreng from Indonesia, as well as Korean japchae, and more.

Other things we spotted were pincho and small-cut sweets too.

For Japanese food there were things like freshly-fried tempura, and large cuts of roast beef which were cut there and then by the chef.

 

What I was personally happy about was their cafe menu, with things like cafe latte and other hot drinks. It was a satisfying 90-minutes spent, wolfing down food and then enjoying some sweets with a cafe latte.

 

5 spaces that can be used for weddings, parties & more

The hotel building even houses two chapels, as well as banquet halls, which can be used for weddings, parties and more. The chapels have large windows that let in plenty of natural sunlight. The use of natural wood also gives the room a warm feeling to it.

Floor 8’s HANAEMI

There are five banquet halls in total each on a different floor and each with their own concept. Those on floors 7, 8 and 9 even have terraces for parties too. Whether you’re having a party, a wedding, or a conference, there is a room for you.

Hotel Royal Classic Osaka’s speciality is its inclusion of leaving a part of traditional Japan in there while still letting you feel the Japan of today. Whether you’re travelling to Osaka for some sightseeing and fun, or you’re in the business scene and need a regular-use hotel, look no further. We felt connected to Osaka in our experience there, so if you’re planning a trip to Osaka, be sure to book with Namba’s newest landmark.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • This Relaxing Onsen Hotel with Picturesque Nature and Luxurious Local Cuisine is the Perfect Getaway

    17.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Japan is full of picturesque locations where you can be at one with nature and soak the tiredness of your body away in the onsen baths. If you are looking for an escape from busy working life, then you’re in luck: Today we’ll be introducing you to a modern onsen hotel which is perfect for families, lovers, and even solo travellers. 

    Escape from Tokyo on the bullet train, ride the Zairai line and finally, catch a bus. After your two-hour journey, you will arrive at onsen hot spot Uonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. Today, we’ll be heading to Tomoya Hotel. The picturesque scenery of paddy fields and mountains will unfold before your very eyes and put your mind at ease.    

    Sunlight pours over the reception desk from the giant window. It was time to check in. After being informed on meal times and private onsen rentals, I quickly headed to my room.

    I was given room 305. The warm wooden structure made the room feel lavishly large. Whether you’re snuggling up with a lover, chilling out with friends or relaxing with family, the atmosphere and size of the room allows for flexible usage.

    The Sanashi river was right outside my window. I could watch the soothing clear water flow out to the horizon for hours. 

    The room was prepared with loungewear, bath towels, toothbrushes, socks and many other amenities. It was even fitted with a fridge and water heater. 

    From the lamps lighting the stairway and hallway sofas to the displayed artwork, every item in Tomoya Hotel is a carefully selected item of special design. 

    There was even a DJ area next to the lobby which contained a surprising stash of records, CDs and DVDs which was uncountably large. Being able to discover new music and films is another admirable feature of the hotel. 

    The front lobby is filled with a fresh and liberating atmosphere. There are plenty of spots to sit and read to yourself as the melodies of records weave through the air.

    The shop sells specially selected products including locally produced juice, snacks and much more. You can even purchase Tomoya Hotel’s original skincare goods. Reading the cheerful and thoughtful comments written on the goods by the manager made it clear that every single item in the shop was chosen with the utmost care. 

    One by one, several lavish courses arrived at my door for dinner that evening. The locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal vegetables were served with Niigata prefecture’s uonuma koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice. 

    Nameko mushroom hotpot, salt-fried East Asian trout, tofu mixed with lotus root, and sashimi were just some of the hotel’s many original dishes that were brought to my door. As the rice was harvested from the first crop of the year, it was very sweet and so delicious that I helped myself to multiple servings without realising. The food was flavoured and seasoned very lightly to ensure that guests could fully enjoy the true flavours of the fresh harvest from the mountains and the sea. The luxurious dinner was highly enjoyable. 

    I enjoyed sipping a small glass of Tomoya’s chilled Reishu sake with my meal. This is an original recipe sake created by Tomoya Hotel and local sake brewery Tamagawa Shuzo. It was so refreshing, easy to drink and perfectly complimented every dish. The hotel provided a rich variety of alcoholic dinks including refreshing beer, carefully-selected wines, rare local sake, homemade fruit liqueurs, and more.

    The onsen is home to rich history dating back to the year 1300 when it first opened its doors to the public. There are two types of private rental onsen and large public onsen indoors. Some square-shaped baths sit right beside a small stream which branches off from the Sanashi river. Treat yourself to a soothing soak in a historical onsen while absorbing the beautiful scenery. 

    After finishing your relaxing soak, head to floor 1 of the main building to spend some time relaxing. This space is for guests to use freely and how they please. There are bookshelves lined with books and games available.

    The first floor of the hotel annexe was my favourite place. Music from a variety of genres is played here. A disco ball hangs high, splashing light across the spacious room. There is a ping-pong table, a pool table, massage chair, piano, an old Nintendo game, manga and much more. It may seem like a relaxing place at first glance, but my heart was racing with excitement as I got hooked on the games.

    The following morning, breakfast was delivered right to my room again. Seeing the tray filled with a luxurious mix of both western and Japanese-style cuisine was very pleasing to see. I indulged in yaki-fu: baked wheat gluten which is a specialty of Niigata, fried fish, rolled Japanese-style omelette, homemade cheesecake and much more. All the meals served at the hotel are made with the utmost care and precision. 

    If I were to introduce all the wonderful services and features of Tomoya hotel then there would be no end to this article. The main highlights were the delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients, the soothing onsen, the music, films and experience of art culture, and of course, the opportunity to get in touch with nature, watching the water trickle down the mountain streams as your mind discovers peace. 

     

    If you are looking to heal your body, mind and soul whilst discovering nature and art, then Tomoya Hotel is perfect for you. 

     

    Writer:Ellie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Chat and Eat Japanese Sweets With a Real Maiko at Hoshinoya Kyoto

    07.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hoshinoya Kyotoーa Japanese inn in Arashiyama where all rooms offer a river viewーhas announced a new event titled “Maiko Salon” which will run next year from February 4 to March 4 which offers female guests the chance to chat with a maiko (an apprentice geisha).

    Maiko Salon is a women-only get-together that offers female guests to chat casually with a real maiko. The clothes that a maiko wears, including the kanzashi ornate hairpin, kimono, obi sash, obidome sash clip, okobo footwearーeverything, from head to toeーis carefully crafted by an expert artisan. This is why maiko have been called “walking pieces of traditional craftsmanship.” At the Maiko Salon, you have the opportunity to wear such craft made in Kyoto and enjoy a sophisticated womanly party.

    For example, the table runners are made with Nishijin-ori, a type of fabric made in Kyoto’s district of Nishijin that has a history spanning over 1,000 years. The walls will also be decorated with obi cloth art panels with Maiko motifs.

    Learn all about the Hanamachi geisha district through womanly conversation

    Being entertained by geisha, known in Japanese as Ozashiki Asobi, is associated with maiko and geisha serving and entertaining men, and as being very private and inaccessible without being introduced by someone else. But since 2018, Hoshinoya Kyoto has been holding this women-only occasion for women to learn more about the culture in a casual environment. It’s a chance to learn more about maiko and their lifestyle through womanly topics like skincare, makeup and so on. There will also be a dance performance, after which attendees can ask about the practises of a maiko, what they think of their work, and so on.

    Edible Kanzashi Ornate Hairpins

    An original Japanese confection made to look like kanzashi ornate hairpins has been whipped up in 5 flavours by Kameya Yoshinaga, a long-standing Japanese confectionery maker which first opened almost 200 years ago. Enjoy together with sparkling wine during your time with the maiko.

  • Tokyo’s My Hero Academia Themed Hotel Rooms Unveil Designs | Tokyo Prince Hotel

    24.November.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Tokyo Prince Hotel has announced a collaboration with the upcoming anime film My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising which is set for release on December 20, 2019. Bookings are now open for their My Hero Academia themed hotel rooms, which will be available to stay in from December 7 this year until February 29, 2020.

    The room designs and hotel plans were revealed today. There are two plans available: the “Concept Room Plan” where guests can stay in a room that recreates the world of the movie and comes with free merchandise and a themed drink, and the “Regular Room Plan,” which features a regular hotel room decked out with lots of My Hero Academia decorations, and also comes with the merch and drink.

    The concept room is split into two rooms: the first recreating the room in which the students of class 1-A meet the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, and the second on Midoriya’s bedroom.

    Expect to see illustrations of the students as well as the Villains in the rooms too. Bookings are first-come, first-served, so don’t miss out!

     

    ©️2019 “My Hero Academia THE MOVIE” Production Committee ©️Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha

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  • Ojamajo Doremi Themed Food and Drinks Releasing at cookpad studio in Osaka

    02.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    CookpadTV is set to collaborate with the third series of the popular TV anime series Ojamajo Doremi, entitled Motto! Ojamajo Doremi, at the live cooking studio “cookpad studio” in Osaka from June 11, 2020 with an event called “cookpad studio Mahosai” (cookpad studio Magic Festival).

     

    cookpad studio has collaborated with many different anime series up to now and receives much praise from customers.

    “cookpad studio Mahou Matsuri” brings Motto! Ojamajo Doremi to life on your plate, making it both visually appealing and delicious. Except for desserts, food and drink can be ordered for takeout so customers can enjoy their treats at home.

    All food and drink comes with an original novelty. Exclusive merchandise will also be sold for the event.

    When you order food or dessert, you’ll get one of the above-pictured stickers, and if you order a drink one of the postcards. There are five designs for each, and the one you get is random so you can look forward to seeing which you get on the day.

    cookpad studio will also have three large 65-inch displays which will show cooking videos of the food served during the event being made.

     

    ©Toei Animation

  • Naruto Themed Hotel Room Opens at GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135° in Japan

    02.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135°, a hotel and glamping facility located in Awaji, Hyogo, opened its new Naruto-themed room on June 1, 2020.

    The room, called “Hokage no Bessou” (Hokage’s Villa), is renovated from one of the resort’s buildings, and aims to plunge guests into the world of ninjas.

    The room takes inspiration from the Hidden Leaf Village and its characters, with references to the series and recreated scenes littered throughout. It also offers exclusive amenities for guests to enjoy.

    Guests who stay in the Naruto room will receive a free ticket to the popular “Naruto & Boruto Shinobi Zato” attraction at the anime theme park Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island where the hotel is located.

     

    ⒸMasashi Kishimoto Scott / Shuiehsa・TV Tokyo・Pierrot

  • Experience Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama With HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s New Hotel Plan

    19.May.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Kyoto has introduced a new hotel plan in an attempt to bring a little luxury into people’s lives and lift their spirit during this stressful time. The plan will have people going to Arashiyama to experience a bit of Kyoto culture and hospitality to lift their mood.

    You will board a small boat located at the port near the hotel entrance and be taken to your private room. During your sail, you will be able to soak in the gorgeous sights of nature all around. Check-in is being carried out in guest rooms, meaning you won’t have to come into contact with other guests.

    You have arrived at your room. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in Arashiyama which was formerly a holiday home destination for the Heian aristocrats. There are 25 rooms inside the garden, all of which look out onto the Ōi River. When you slide the window open, you can feel the gentle wind sweep through the valleys. Guest room walls are plastered with beautiful traditional kyokarakami wallpaper and fitted with HOSHINOYA Kyoto-original tatami sofas. Each and every part of the rooms are imbued with Kyoto culture. The rooms are not only comfortable and provide you with everything you need, but also offer a luxurious stay.

     

    Inside your room, there are sutras which can be used for sutra copying, known as sakyou in Japanese, as well as equipment for making matcha to enjoy your own private tea ceremony without having to worry about the tradition’s strict rooms. It’s your very own private Kyoto cultural experience without having to worry about other people.

    Dinner can be enjoyed in the main dining hall or in your room. The dining hall is fitted with semi-private booths where you can enjoy a seasonal Arashiyama 9 course kaiseki-ryori dinner with rice, vegetables, a special bento assortment, and more. For breakfast you can enjoy a morning hot pot which uses a special dashi stock packed full of seasonal veggies.

    There are also activities to enjoy Kyoto’s breathtaking green outdoors. Mosquito nets made from Japanese red cedar are provided under which you can take part in a stretch routine which uses breathing techniques and meditation.

     

    Outdoor activities are severely restricted right now as a result of COVID-19, but HOSHINOYA Kyoto has made it so you don’t have to do much moving around at all while still enjoying the fruits of nature.

  • Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

    01.May.2020 | SPOT

    With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.

    This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.

    Tokyo:BONDS HOUSE

    Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel

    Kanazawa: KANAME INN

    Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.

     

    Room for Rescue: Request a Room

    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/

     

    To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.

     

    Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/contact/

     

    If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.

  • Kanucha Resort in Okinawa Announces Spring and Summer Activity Program for 2020

    06.April.2020 | SPOT

    Located in the city of Nago in Okinawa lies Kanucha Resort, a hotel resort which boasts 2.6 million square meters of land. The resort has revealed its spring and summer program which invites guests to enjoy everything Okinawa has to offerーnot just its breathtaking oceans.

     

    What is Kanucha Resort?

    Kanucha Resort sits on the east coast of Nago on the northern part of the Okinawa mainland. It’s surrounded by the vast rolling sea and mother nature, and also faces Oura Bay, which is known for its coral reefs, which includes blue coral. Guest rooms come in nine styles, all of which incorporate gorgeous wooden decor. The resort has a bounty of restaurants, its own golf course, the beach, and over 70 activities to choose from, all of which makes Kanucha Resort a little town of its own. In the past winter months just gone, it also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Okinawa’s largest illumination event, Stardust Fantasia.

     

    Buggy Ride Tours & Buggy Adventure Tours

    Experience a different side of Okinawa away from the beaches with an off-road ride through Yanbaru no Mori Forest on a quad bike.


    Running: All Year

    Time: 9:00-17:00

    Meeting Locations: Buggy Ride Tour @ Dokidoki Yambarunture / Buggy Adventure Tour @ Matayoshi Coffee Farm

    Ages: 4 years and older

     

    Coral Snorkeling Tour in Banana Boats

    Witness the tropical fish swimming around you, and gaze upon the gorgeous coral reefs, as you explore the waters below when you climb off the banana boat.

    Running: July 23, 2020 – August 31, 2020

    Time: 60 minutes

    Ages: 5 to 65 years

     

    Mangrove Kayak Tour Along the Kesaji River

    The Okinawan mainland is home to many mangroves. See them together with the expand of Yanbaru’s nature with a kayak ride along the Kesaji River.

    Running: All Year

    Time: Subject to change each day depending on how busy it is – please enquire directly

    Courses: 150 Minutes (5 years and older) / 90 Minutes (3 years and older)

     

    Star Sommelier to Space Walk

    Hear about the moon and space with talks from Hoshi no Somurie® (“Star Sommeliers”) and use a telescope to observe the stars at the planetarium.

    Running: Monday-Thursday

    Time: 20:00-20:50

    Meeting Point: Leisure Counter

     

    Oura Mangrove Kayak

    Enjoy a round trip kayak ride around the Oura Mangrove which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Nago.

     

    Running: All Year Round

    Time: Please enquire directly

    Ages: 3 years old and above (*For guests only)

    Meeting Point: Wansaka Oura Park

     

    For more details on the activities available at Kanucha Resort, visit their website here.

  • BAPE STORE® To Open in COMME des GARCONS in Osaka’s Luxury Brand Hotspot

    02.April.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    Japanese fashion label COMME des GARCONS OSAKA has moved to Midosuji in Shinsaibashi, Osaka and is set for its grand opening on April 3, 2020. 

     

    The first floor will be occupied by BAPE STORE® (A BATHING APE®), making it the first ever COMME des GARCONS to house a BAPE STORE®. 

     

    COMME des GARCONS was founded by world-famous fashion designer Rei Kawakubo in 1969. Besides developing a number of world famous brands such as COMME des GARCONS HOMME PLUS, she also founded the multi-brand retailer DOVER STREET MARKET GINZA, becoming a key figure in the world’s leading fashion. As the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo and the largest in west Japan, Osaka has remained the economic and cultural epicentre of the Kansai region for centuries. Kawakubo’s latest step in the world of fashion is the brand new opening of BAPE STORE® COMME des GARCONS OSAKA along Midosuji street, Shinsaibashi – a main street of central Osaka which is a hotspot of luxury designer shops. 

     

    Last year, BAPE STORE® opened in Kyoto, marking a year since BAPE STORE® opened in the Kansai region. The interior of BAPE STORE® COMME des GARCONS OSAKA was done by Rei Kawakubo. This atmosphere and design is completely different to existing BAPE® stores and will also sell limited COMME des GARCONS and A BATHING APE® collaboration merchandise that are not available anywhere else.

     

    If you’re in Osaka and love high-end fashion, the brand new BAPE STORE® COMME des GARCONS store and its limited merchandise is worth checking out. 

    BAPE STORE®

  • Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself

    01.April.2020 | SPOT

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.

    The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.

    The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens

    The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.

    Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath

    Amenities

    The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.

    Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner

    The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.

    Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?

  • See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.

     

    Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama

    “Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.

     

    A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji

    The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.

    Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)

    Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.


    The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.

  • Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

    29.March.2020 | SPOT

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

    With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.

     

    In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.

     

    Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.

  • Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan

    27.March.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.

    Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.

     

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.

    The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.

    The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.

  • Pompompurin Celebrates 24th Anniversary With Birthday Menu at the Pompompurin Cafe

    27.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurin is celebrating his 24th anniversary at three branches of the Pompompurin Cafe in Harajuku, Yokohama, and Umeda with a special birthday menu that will be served for the whole month of April.

     

    A special celebratory menu for the floppy-eared golden retriever

    The official date for Pompompurin’s birthday is April 16. The birthday menu line-up includes two food items, a drink made in collaboration with popular Japanese picture book author Yukako Ohde, and some novelty gifts.

     

    Birthday Menu

    Happy Birthday Flower Bouquet Bisque – ¥1,590 (Before Tax)

    This cute bisque soup has Pompompurin and Muffin holding a colourful boquet made from broccoli and mashed potatoes made to look like roses. It has a rich but mild flavour, and is both adorable and filling.

    Happy Birthday Strawberry Mousse – ¥790 (Before Tax)

    The strawberry mousse has a fluffy texture and refreshing, sweet taste. It can be eaten as it is or drizzled with the accompanying raspberry sauce.

    Yukako Ohde x Pompompurin Lemonade – ¥550 (Before Tax)

    Take a sip from this delicious lemonade from a straw adorned with a cute, warm illustration of Pompompurin by Yukako Ohde.

     

    Exclusive Anniversary Novelty Gifts

    Lunch Mat Design

    Customers who dine at any of the three cafes during the anniversary celebration will receive a free lunch mat.

    Coaster Designs

    And those who order the lemonade will receive a coaster with designs illustrated by Yukako Ohde. The designs are different at each branch of the Pompompurin Cafe. You can also receive another special coaster if you spend over ¥1,000 each (tax included) at Pompompurin Cafe Umeda and KIDDY LAND Osaka Umeda. Simply show your receipts at the cafe.

     

    ©1996,2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO.S605291

  • Dine in Luxury With Truffle Toast at Patisserie SATSUKI in Hotel New Otani Osaka

    22.March.2020 | FOOD

    If you’re looking to indulge yourself during your trip to Japan, and happen to be staying in Osaka, then Hotel New Otani Osaka’s pastry shop Patisserie SATSUKI has you covered with their new “Spring Truffle Toast” which is made with Bianchetto truffles. Only 5 servings are served per dayーand 10 on weekends and public holidays.

     

    The arrival of Japan’s unprecedented bread boom

    In recent years, Japan as a country has seen a boom in the baking and serving of bread. NOGAMI, a bread shop in Osaka, is credited with lighting the fire of the “shokupan” boom, a type of fluffy bread in Japan. This has resulted in many more shops opening selling shokupan. In spring 2017, Hotel New Otani Osaka decided it wanted the people of Kansai to buzz about high quality shokupan too, so it developed its French-inspired “Spring Truffle Toast.” Since releasing, the bread has continued to sell out, and if you don’t place an order for one you won’t be able to get your hands on it. Their tasty truffle toast has returned again this year.

     

    Premium toast with loaded truffle

    Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles – ¥1,500 Per Loaf (Before Tax)

    The ambrosial Spring Truffle Toast lacks nothing when it comes to taste, texture, and smell. The ingredients used to make ordinary bread like eggs, milk, and butter aren’t used for the shop’s Spring Truffle Toast. Instead, strong flour, yeast, water, and finely chopped spring truffles are used. To bring out even more flavour, truffle butter, pure olive oil, and shortening is used.


    The same goes for the crustーeggs and milk aren’t used like in ordinary bread. And to prevent the bread from drying out, more time and labour is put into kneading the dough. A lava pot is used to bake the dough. By using far infrared to heat it, it makes the finished bread nice and chewy.


    The shop’s head chef wanted to ensure that the bread’s fragrant smell is preserved when you take the lid off, and so the entire loaf is lathered in truffle oil, which also gives it a moist taste.

     

    The bread can be toasted and enjoyed on its own, and you’re guaranteed great flavour and smell, but you can take it to the next level by topping it with a fried egg or scrambled egg to create an extraordinary and filling meal.

     

    These truffles can only be harvested in spring

    Truffles are a delicacy in kitchens around the world. The types used for the Spring Truffle Toast are Bianchetto. They are a very popular traditional truffle of Italy and can only be harvested from mid-March to April. As a result, they are extremely rare in Japan, making the toast that much more special.

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